Sitting here, cowboys, horses and wigwams lying around my feet, I’m beginning to feel a wierd sort of toy nostalgia. I remember the Playmobil American settlers, and their campfires, milk pails and wagons that my brothers had. We put shoe-boxes on their sides to make huts and stables, and I would pull them all close together, for safety.
In those days, everything was made more exciting by scenes from the Westerns we watched, and the stories my dad told. You wouldn’t get tales of noble ‘red Indians’ any more. In fact, there are a lot of things you don’t get any more: and it sometimes seems that the era of the tablet and x-box is stifling all the excitment of make-believe.
I know for a fact that those cowboys will lie neglected on the rug, while my two fight over whose go it is on the tablet. Angry birds makes for angry children, no doubt about it.
Of course the defenders of all this new technology have many good points to make, but I still have questions: is it only good because it’s preparing the next generation for the future we have laid out for them? What would happen to the world if young people spent more time in the worlds of their imagination, not being fed, but exercising their capacity to create, all by themselves. If it’s a choice between a generation finding answers and amusement in a black device on their laps, or one that takes what’s there, and envisions something better, then I know which one I’ll opt for.
Don’t despair, little cowboys, you are not forgotten yet.